How Does Music Define the Human Race?
Music is something that humans have created for thousands of years to communicate, for entertainment, and as a way to express themselves when in many other ways they cannot. Music and what is considered music has evolved drastically from tribal African music to the classical compositions of Bach and to modern music were electronic synthesizers create the gnarly sounds of Dubstep; however, music’s power has not changed in the slightest. Music has the power to unite people, the power to improve our lives with only one song and in today’s society where problems like loneliness, suicide, and mental illness are becoming more and more prevalent, we need that experience.
Loneliness and the Digital Age
The irony of the “Digital Age” has become more apparent to many in recent years: in an age where we can access any form of information and instantly communicate with someone across the globe, we feel more disconnected and lonely. People, especially teenagers, have become more invested into the internet, texting, and social media, and while we are able to share bits and pieces about ourselves with people who we would not be able to connect with normally, it is making conversation less personal. We are no longer making connections by communicating with other people through personal conversation, leaving us without the feeling of human interaction.
Have you ever taken a video at a concert with the thought, “Oh, this would look great on Instagram”?. By becoming so entrenched in technology we deprive ourselves of experiences and human interaction and are left feeling lonely. Oftentimes, humans share only the good parts of their lives, or parts that will make them seem “cool” and not share their true emotion. While we may feel like we do not truly “fit in”, we can make more genuine connections when people accept us for who we are, not the persona we want to be or post on social media.
Music is an outlet for us to express and share our true emotions and inner selves, allowing for human connection and unity. Musicians (anyone can become a musician no matter their background) are able to express their own emotions and thoughts through their sound, and when people can relate to those emotions and feelings, they come together and are united as one.
What Can I Do to Alleviate Loneliness?
- If you see someone who doesn’t “fit in” or who looks like they are lonely, talk to them and make a connection
- Make more face-to-face connections instead of texting or Snapchatting
- Find people with similar interests
- Many people try to hide how they are feeling, especially during tough times in their lives, and instead try to put on a mask and just say, “I’m fine”. Try to reach out to people who look like they are struggling or not in the best place because even the littlest acknowledgement or kind act can go a long way with someone who is not used to that kind of treatment. People who are seen as “weird” or don’t fit in really feel lonely, but they are humans too; I like to find a common interest, usually music, and just talk to them, oftentimes making a new friend. Anyone can feel lonely, just reach out.
- While I may sound like a parent saying, “get off your phone and go outside”, in the long run you have much more personal and intimate relationships when connecting face-to-face with someone instead of communicating across a screen. Making a more personal connection with someone allows for you to get to know them better as a person, know their interests, hobbies, quirks etc. and is not just writing on a screen.
- Finding people with similar interests is a great way to alleviate the feeling of loneliness. Talking about something that you are passionate about with someone else who is just as passionate as you is a really great experience and allows you to, again, make genuine connections. As a group of motivated individuals with the same interests, we are capable of changing ourselves, changing our community, and creating something great to bring people from all over the world together so that no one feels lonely.
For my composition, I started with an idea for a melody and built from there, adding drums, chords (three musical notes or tones played together in harmony), and some lyrics. I used a lot of layered synthesizer sounds called “pads” to create an eerie ambiance, bringing the feeling of loneliness and uneasiness to the song, and more light sounding instruments like a guitar to keep the song from sounding too sad, symbolizing the fact that there is hope and possibility for change in any bad situations. My lyrics (that’s not me singing, I don’t have that good of a voice) in particular embody the feeling of someone being there for you, no matter what. We have the capabilities of being that person, all we have to do is take action.
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